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Themes:     Opinions & Politics (25)    Rights & Duties (27)  
Tags:    Ethics     Thoughts
 
michil Sunday, 1 October 2017

Being happy with what’s right helps one live better

We feel threatened because we think that others can take away that which we have. But is this really so? Or are we tricking ourselves in that we are afraid to look reality in the face?
Being happy with what’s right helps one live better
 
 
 
Do we really think that the immigrants, the blacks, the poor people of the world are so contagious in that they bring all things bad and malaria too?
La Perla, Corvara. A distinctive looking lady arrived at the hotel in taxi. She nodded a greeting, looked around as if to smell the air. Austere in manner, a light step, and a back as straight as the belltower of the small Santa Caterina church just across from our hotel. Accompanied to her room and all assistance given she came back down to the lobby half an hour later. Her step had taken on a different manner, her lightness of movement had disappeared, her face taken on a somewhat contorted look: “I have been threatened by those blacks (the actual expression she used was much stronger than this) and now I am here in the mountains I find myself amongst them again.” At first we failed to understand her utterance but then it became clear, as clear as the blue sky after the storm has passed: turning on the TV in one’s room the first thing one sees is the presentation of the Costa Family Foundation, with its fair share of blacks, Tibetan and Afghan folk. Our bridge to the world, for bridges to build, as wrote Alexander Langer, is something we still believe in. Time for dinner and as a matter of courtesy I pass by her table, and the lady really lets herself go, speaking of blacks here and blacks there. I decide to listen no further and leave her to spout her talk. I admit that many questions whirled around in my brain and it seems that nowadays I have fewer answers than ever before. The evening passed and a new day came. No change had been made to the TV programming and shall we say that the blacks were still there. The lady in question reappeared at reception and asked for the bill. She should have stayed for two weeks. It seems that we have lost a client for good. I am sure that we will find others.

Hotel Albergo Posta Marcucci, Bagno Vignoni. An elderly couple are sat outside the Barrino bar, drinking a drink and enjoying the view over Val d’Orcia. I go up to them thinking a short chat will be appreciated. The lady, supported by the compliant look of her husband addresses me so: “What I like about this place is that you don’t see any of them around. I believe you have some problem with their presence in South Tyrol.” I fail to understand and let the conversation pass. Time for dinner comes and I pass by the table of the happy couple and she again goes right for the throat of the argument: “Just one I have seen today. One can’t put up with all these blacks around these days (she actually used another expression but lets not go there). They seem to be everywhere”. The penny dropped and I realised what she had been on about earlier in the afternoon! The day after we asked Sekou to serve them coffee, the same Sekou whose father had been a slave, and his entire family killed in the feuds which for years have pervaded Niger; he had arrived here alone, possessionless, but notwithstanding the fact that his eyes at times reveal the indelible sadness behind, he is able to smile and move his large hands with grace. For this and for this only I breathe a sigh of relief.

Restarant El Brite de Larieto, Cortina d'Ampezzo. A gentleman takes offence at the sight of a coloured waitress wearing the traditional ‘Ampezzo’ dress (as if our clothes where some sort of costume, but let’s rest that point here). Little did he know that the 26 year old waitress, originally from Guinea Bissau had been resident in Veneto for several years. Perhaps he doesn’t even realise that the word rotates around an axis. Full of his own hypocrisy, and lets call it as it is – his own evident racism) he complained and posted a review on Tripadvisor: “I did not appreciate that the person who served me wearing an ‘Ampezzo’ dress was a coloured person”. The owners of the hotel contacted the portal asking them to pull down the comment in question. It is true that on Tripadvisor one can find comments of every type – even as example of such “Nice the Trevi fountain, but would be better to move it to a bigger square…”. The guilty comment was in fact pulled down but not before it had gone around the world, and the name of the author had been discovered.

Do we really think that the immigrants, the blacks, the poor people of the world are so contagious in the sense that they bring all things bad and malaria too? Do we think that others who are not from our home are only capable of corrupting our traditions, uses and conscience? Faced with those ignorant paranoics who are incapable of getting involved in life with energy and positivity, we forge ahead with our smile, knowing how lucky we are to live here. And with this in mind I throw myself with energy and vigour into what is the beauty of life, rebelling without fear to the injustices in this world. And I will tell you more besides, something which is a discovery - one lives much better if one keeps a sense of justice and what is just in mind.

michil costa
 
 
 
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